Cobham Intros New Multi-Beam Hub Base Station Antenna for Ultra
7 January 2013
-- Cobham Antenna Systems, Microwave Antennas develop new
Multi-Beam Hub Base Station antenna for ultra fast MIMO
A new Multi-beam Hub Base Station antenna, model number
MBA6-3.5DS45/2045, has been developed by Cobham Antenna Systems,
Microwave Antennas to enable MIMO (multiple input multiple output) radio
system operators to meet their goal of 1Gbps/km2 anywhere within a cell.
Designed for high speed MIMO 4G (and beyond) urban access for
backhaul, this was originally a European Union funded project that has
become a finished and available Multi-beam antenna with additional Military
and Security beneficial applications.
removing barriers to next-generation network deployment, this Multi-narrow-beam
antenna allows for a dramatic increase in capacity over existing communication
systems. It provides an essential component enabling an improvement
to the overall infrastructure capacity density of the current mobile
network by an order of magnitude (10x). Projected deployment for
this Hub Base Station antenna system is for it to communicate with network
of “below-rooftop” Access Base Stations using existing structures. The
system strategy with these access base stations will allow self-backhauling.
This Multi-beam antenna has 90˚ coverage (a 90˚arc) utilising six
individual narrow beam patterns each with a half power beamwidth of
15˚. MIMO capability is provided with +/-45˚ polarisation in each
of the six 15˚ sectors.
The advantage of this format is that
a narrow beam can create high density coverage within a specific narrow
area allowing for a high level of frequency re-use whilst being far
more efficient that installing 6 separate narrow beam directional antennas.
By positioning four Multi-beam antennas in a square formation, complete
360˚ coverage is achieved as this provides 24 dual-polarised beams.
The current system benefits from meeting ETSI specification for Multi-beam
antennas (EN 302 326-3 V.1.1.2) provides low side-lobe levels for greater
For Security and Military applications the
technology can be scaled to cover other frequency bands, with applications
such as communications to multiple mobile platforms (ground or airborne).
This system has the benefit of providing higher gain over a wider angle
than a single sector antenna. Communications are more secure and
less prone to intercept and jamming than Wide Beam or Omni antennas.
The antenna measures only 586mm (23”) high x 456mm (17.95”)
wide x 76mm (3”) deep, making it extremely compact given that it provides
2 x 6 beams each with 17dBi peak gain. For dense urban deployment, this
compact Multi-beam antenna will reduce wind-load on towers and the cost
of installation compared with conventional alternatives.
The antenna element comprises a single
cross-dipole assembly operating at a centre frequency of 3.5GHz interlocked
in a configuration which provides a slant dual polar beam. Eight
sets of these assemblies are fed in phase through a stripline feed to
create the single 110˚ sector antenna which forms the basis for the
array. There are 8 sector antennas in the complete assembly.
In order for the 6 (x2 polarisations) narrow beams to be formed to cover
the 90˚ arc, two 8x8 Butler matrix beam forming devices are used to
feed the separate ports of each antenna element. By a mechanism
of fixed phase shifters and couplers the Butler matrices provide defined
sets of phases into each of the 8 internal antenna elements which results
in two sets of 6 skewed beams (The two outer ones covering +/-60degree
are not currently used).
Within the new unit the Butler matrix
devices are fully integrated into the antenna eliminating the need for
16 phased-matched cables making for a much more efficiency and cost-effective
In this antenna the down-tilt is a nominal 2˚across the
band of interest, i.e. 3.4 – 3.6GHz with an elevation beamwidth of 10˚
to the half-power point.
Cobham Antenna Systems, Microwave Antennas, Newmarket
Antennas Ltd trading as Cobham Antenna Systems, Microwave Antennas is
a British company based near Newmarket, Suffolk. They are specialists
in the design and development of high quality antennas used for defence,
security, satellite and commercial communication systems. More
than 60% of production is exported. Antenna development projects are
in meeting the demand for data, connectivity and bandwidth in defence,
security and commercial environments. Offering a technically diverse
and innovative range of technologies and services, the Group protects
lives and livelihoods, responding to customer needs with agility that
differentiates it. The most important thing we build is trust. Employing
more than 10,000 people on five continents, the Group has customers
and partners in over 100 countries.
queries on the Multi Beam Antenna:
Head of Business Development,
Cobham Antenna Systems, Microwave Antennas, Newmarket, UK
+44 1638 732172